tv CNN Newsroom CNN October 8, 2012 2:00pm-4:00pm EDT
different cultures. >> reporter: i ordered chinese take-out. will the delivery man be able to come up here to the living room so i can watch some tv along with chris? you can explore this exhibit until november 18th. then the ancient mariner, freed from new york pigeons, gets major cleaning and repairs. richard roth, cnn, new york. >> pretty bizarre. "cnn newsroom" continues now with brooke baldwin. hi, brooke. >> i wondered what all the scaffolding was, now we know. good to see all of you. i'm brooke baldwin. word of an arrest in the death of the american shot and killed on falcon lake, remember the story, texas right along the mexican border, you may remember two years ago, tiffany hartley, she said she and her husband were out and about on this lake on their sea-doos when they were ambushed she escaped and now a drug cartel leader is behind bars. we'll have much more on this
story. first, politics, down to four weeks, four weeks until the election, less than. mitt romney out of nowhere it seems, major address today on american foreign policy. take a listen. >> the president is fond of saying that the tide of war is receding. i want to believe him as much as anyone else. when we look at the middle east today, with iran closer than ever to nuclear weapons capability, with the conflict in syria threatening to destabilize the region and with violent extremists on the march, and with an american ambassador and three others dead, likely at the hands of al qaeda affiliates, it is clear that the risk of conflict in the region is higher now than when the president took office. >> so we'll hit the speech in depth here a lot on the middle east. but first, let me give you the big picture. as we mentioned, four weeks until the election, and we are seeing a possible shift in favor of mitt romney. check this out. this is what has happened since that debate last wednesday.
this is gallup's daily tracking poll. a dead heat here when you look at the different numbers, a dead heat for the race for president, down from the five-point advantage for the president not too long ago. that five-point advantage as you can see now totally gone, gone in the tracking poll. i know you're sitting there, looking athe numbers and asking, what about the state polls, they're the ones who count, right? you have virginia and ohio and florida, yes, we are seeing signs of movement toward romney, but do keep in mind before last wednesday, those three big states were firming up nicely for obama. give us one day or two on that. we promise we'll be watching the three states for you as we move forward. on the topic of debates here, keep this in mind as well this is a big week. we have the vice presidential debate coming up this thursday. that's biden versus ryan here. a week from tomorrow, obama versus romney. and then those two again, two weeks from today, that's the
final debate before the election. so mitt romney to the, he gave this 20-minute speech on foreign policy. not exactly one of romney's stronger suits thus far. take a look at yet another poll here. the question being better on foreign policy shows him trailing the president by seven points on that one specifically. wolf blitzer, let's talk to you about all of this. joining me live from washington here. and we'll listen in a moment to that speech from mitt romney at vmi. let me ask you this, why a foreign policy speech this late in the election campaign? do you think he sees some sort of opening here? >> yes, i think that the killing of the american ambassador and three other americans in benghazi, libya, the consulate there, and the confusion surrounding the administration's explanation for what happened, the condemnation by some has given him a clear opening. take a look at what is happening throughout north africa and the middle east. he said that today. there is a lot of anti-american
attitudes out there. he senses there is a moment now for him to take advantage and as you point out, brooke, he's going to have that foreign policy debate against president obama, that's the last of the three debates strictly focused on national security and foreign policy. so i think he's gearing up for that. and there is no better way to gear up than to prepare a speech outlining your position on a whole host of sensitive issues where there is significant disagreement. for example, with the president. so that's the timing behind this. >> okay. and let's just now that we have teed up the speech, want to play a couple of snippets of the romney speech today, delivered at vmi, virginia military institute, in lexington, virginia. here he was. >> it is our responsibility and the responsibility of the president to use america's greatest power to shape history, not to lead from behind, leaving our destiny at the mercy of events. drones and modern instruments of war are important tools in our fight. but they are no substitute for a national security strategy for
the middle east. i know the president hopes for a safer, freer and more prosperous middle east, aligned with us. i share this hope. but hope is not a strategy. we can't support our friends and defeat our enemies in the middle east when our words are not backed up by deeds. >> watch his speech, read the speech, wolf. and, you know, i heard him say that in the arab world, in iran, he seems indifferent to the struggles of people on our side. i heard a lot of tone, but not a lot of specifics. are you with me? what did you hear? >> he was referring to what he called the weak reaction from the obama administration to the uprising, if you will, in iran, a couple of years ago, when there were protests. people were angry and the u.s. was on the sidelines, the president did not directly speak out and the explanation that the administration at the time gave was that the opposition didn't want this to appear to be the opposition to the ayatollahs,
standing up in iran, with the backing of united states. that could have been counterproductive. as a result, the obama administration was pretty silent. at the time now where romney is going after him on that, i think there were a few areas where there were some significant differences, but on the whole, after you get through some of the angry rhetoric, there is a lot of agreement between obama and romney, one area of disagreement on arming the syrian rebels. another area of disagreement, how far will iran be able to go in its nuclear weapons capability, the capability of developing a bomb as opposed to actually having a bomb. and the third was on russia. he twice in a speech singled out vladimir putin as a basically a foe of the united states and he was doubling down on those controversial remarks. he made a few months ago, that russia was america's number one geostrategic foe. >> interesting on syria, i was listening to fareed zakaria, he noted the passive voice.
we're wall for it as you mentioned, the foreign policy debate in two weeks. wolf blitzer, we'll talk next hour. i have more questions for you. thank you, sir, for that. jessica yellin is our chief white house correspondent. here she is. let me ask you, what reaction are you hearing from the obama campaign, from the foreign policy speech today? >> first of all, they were out with a prebuttal before the speech, before romney gave the speech, they had an ad slamming governor romney for past missteps in his foreign policy campaign messaging. take a look at a bit of the ad. >> when our u.s. diplomats were attacked in libya, the new york times said romney's knee jerk response showed an extraordinary lack of presidential character. and even republican experts said romney's remarks were the worst possible reaction to what happened. if this is how -- >> so they obviously do not want to give him an opening to get an edge on this issue. after romney's speech, former secretary of state madeleine albright underscored the obama campaign's message in a conference call with reporters. she said that she is a teacher
and if romney had turned in the op-ed he had written in the wall street journal last week, on the middle east, she would have given him a c, because it was so light on specifics. >> okay. big picture, jessica yellin, the president pretty much talked all kinds of pundits on either side bombed last wednesday, speaking in denver. when you look at the polls, they indicate americans most definitely took note. as we mentioned, you still have the three additional debates including this vice presidential debate, this upcoming week. the question is, is the president's re-election campaign, are they hitting the panic button here or are they changing the approach with these final debates looming in. >> well, according too the top democrats i'm talking to, they do not expect vice president biden to somehow make up for the president's missteps in his debate last week. because americans aren't looking to the vice president to do what the president should be doing himself. so the vice president is in
debate camp now in wilmington, delaware. the president's own debate camp prep erk the person who ran the president's debate camp, ron complai clain is running the vice president debate camp. he's there with his plans in place. my understanding is they have not changed their strategy -- they have not changed who is prepping him or how, but i would expect to see him be quite aggressive about defending the administration's policies in a way the president did not do at least not effectively last week. >> last wednesday. jessica, thank you. quick reminder to all of you, we're talking about the vice presidential debate, again, joe biden, paul ryan, prepping to debate one another. it is thursday night, set the dvr now and remember our live coverage begins at 7:00 eastern here on cnn.
as president obama and mitt romney race to the finish -- >> i got my start as a community organizer. >> i know how the private sector works. >> a new documentary shows not only their most decisive moments, but how their minds work. i'm brooke baldwin. the news is now. >> he knows that every step he takes is a potential land mine. >> the backlash against his presidency must be mystifying to him because he genuinely doesn't see himself as a radical. >> i'll speak live with the pbs producer behind this film. plus -- >> liftoff of the space x falcon 9 rocket. >> the future of space travel begins. and -- as hugo chavez battles health problems, the socialist leader wins six more years. [ male announcer ] break the grip of aches or arthritis pain
space x falcon 9 rocket, launching -- >> there she goes, the first commercial flight to the iss, to the international space station, launching from cape canaveral, florida, last night. nasa stepping aside, but also signing space x to the $1.6 billion contract to ship cargo to the iss. i'm joined by tareq malik, also here with me fellow space geek chad myers. tareq, let me begin with you, because this is so significant. this is the first commercial flight here to the iss. this could be the beginning of some major things, but first, liftoff. how did it go? >> it was amazing. nasa had been saying and space x there was a chance of clouds, they don't want the rocket flying through clouds or trigger lightning on the way up. but the entire countdown through the evening was fairly smooth. and t minus zero, it soared into the sky, lit up like an artificial sun and we saw it for
quite some time, even after passing through this clouds. it was just an amazing launch, an amazing delivery into orbit of this private spacecraft. >> hang tight for me. i have a question for you, chad. i read one of the engines failed upon ascent. so another engine had to, what, overcompensate. >> there are eight still. there were nine. one didn't do so well at 1:20 in and we have video of this. i call it nasa puffing. see the puffs, there is puffs coming out of the back of that. hard to see, but that was the failure of one of the engines. there was still eight backups, still eight main engines. they had to fire a little longer to take this thing farther into space on the first stage. nothing is a problem. it was great redundancy, like a 747 able to fly on three instead of four engines. >> okay. so now that we know it is a-okay, tareq, back to you, i read the capsule it is ferrying cargo, gear and food and ice
cream as well. what is the mission once it arrives up there? >> basically this is a cargo flight as you mentioned, carrying a thousand pounds of cargo to the space station. it will arrive on wednesday morning. astronauts on the station will grab it with a robotic arm and pack it and unpack it for the rest of the month. after three weeks, they're going to load it up with not trash or unneeded things, which they would do with other cargo ships from russia, japan or -- they're going to put in science experiments, gear that maybe they could repair, or stuff that they want to send back down to friends or family, and that's going to come back down on october 28th, splash down into the pacific, spacex folks will pluck it out of the ocean and deliver the cargo back to nasa. it is first of its kind in unma bringing back more. i'm sure they're excited to get some chocolate vanilla swirl.
>> ice cream aside, it is significant, they're able to bring cargo, this is the beginning of what i'm sure they hope will be an ability to ferry astronauts. chad and i covered the final retirement of the "atlantis," how long before the private entities are able to send astronauts so we don't have to rely on the soyuz. >> spacex planned to use this unmanned dragon spacecraft, to scale it up into a seven-person spaceship, that was their primary goal while they were building it. they always said and said last night that in three years they expect to be ready to fly humans on a version of this spacecraft. they are one of four companies competing for nasa contracts to do that, to ferry americans into space from an american space port. and that will basically regain the capability that we have lost last year when the space shuttle fleet retired.
>> so three years. chad, what do you want to ask? >> i want to know if you know where the name dragon came from? >> you know, it is a funny story, both the dragon and the falcon 9 rocket, that launched it. in 2002 when spacex's ceo founded the company, a lot of investors, a lot of folks criticizing, thought it was a pipe dream that he was going to build rockets and launch them into space. he named it dragon after puff the magic dragon, the imaginary dragon from -- >> that's funny, you mentioned puffs also. tareq malik, thank you so much. we're talking to richard branson next hour, another one of those fellow competitors, i don't know if he's in touch with elan musk, but has a list pretty thick of people who want to go up as far as space tourism. we'll talk to sir richard branson next hour. any minute now we'll see the president in california. you can see some of these live pictures, this is keen, california. president expected to take the
stage there as they are dedicating this cesar chavez monument. could he, might he be responding to mitt romney's blistering foreign policy speech from earlier in the day? we'll watch for that, as will you. that's next. up your game. up the ante. and if you stumble, you get back up. up isn't easy, and we ought to know. we're in the business of up. everyday delta flies a quarter of million people while investing billions improving everything from booking to baggage claim. we're raising the bar on flying and tomorrow we will up it yet again. boring. boring. [ jack ] after lauren broke up with me, i went to the citi private pass page and decided to be...not boring. that's how i met marilyn... giada... really good. yes! [ jack ] ...and alicia. ♪ this girl is on fire [ male announcer ] use any citi card to get the benefits of private pass.
just in to us here at cnn, meningitis, that meningitis outbreak is now growing. the centers for disease control now says the number of people infected with meningitis jumped from 91 to 105. the death toll also up from 7 to 8. these infections have been traced to spinal steroid injections. they were contaminated with a deadly fungal meningitis. health officials say 76 medical facilities and now 23 different states received the contaminated injections. the average price of a gallon of gas crept up three cents over the past week. but the average, according to aaa, a gigantic spike in california where you're feeling it the price of a gallon of regular unleaded climbed a whopping 50 cents. you saw the prices. it has hit $4.67 a gallon. problems at two refineries are
blamed for the price hike. california governor jerry brown ordered a switch to a cheaper blend of gas to try to increase supply and bring those prices down. columbus day could also be election day for voters in more than a dozen states. take a look at the map. early voting beginning today in california, indiana, and oregon. ten other states have already begun. in all, 36 states and the district of columbia offer some form of early voting. democrats, they do tend to vote early, far more than republicans. but whatever your political bench, if you have made up your mind, voting early can help you avoid the long lines this upcoming november 6th. again, quick reminder, see the crowds here, this is keen, california. the president will be dedicating the cesar chavez national monument. this is the first such honor to honor any kind of contemporary mexican-american, think about the timing, less than a month until elections, it could
potentially help boost any sort of latino voter turnout for the president. at the same time, we are also potentially anticipating the president to react to the blistering comments from mitt romney earlier today when he spoke at vmi, about a 20-minute in length speech on foreign policy. will the president respond? we'll be listening, dip in and take some of that live as soon as we see the president in keen, california. but from president obama to his challenger, as i mentioned, today, laying out his foreign policy plans. the thing is, they actually don't sound dramatically different from that of president obama, except for one major detail. that's next. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso. i just finished a bowl of your new light chicken pot pie soup and it's so rich and creamy... is it really 100 calories? let me put you on webcan... ...lean roasted chicken... and a creamy broth mmm i can still see you. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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hala gorani. we talk middle east, we talk syria specifically and that's one of the topics that mitt romney touched on today when he was speaking at the virginia military institute. take a listen. >> in syria, i work with our partners to identify and organize those members of the opposition who share our values. and then ensure that they obtain the arms they need to defeat assad's tanks and helicopters and fighter jets. iran is sending arms to assad because they know his downfall would be a strategic defeat for him. we should be working no less vigorously through our international partners to support the many syrians who would deliver that defeat to iran, whether sitting on the sidelines. it is essential that we develop influence with those forces in syria that will one day lead a country that sits at the heart of the middle east. >> mitt romney is saying, arm the rebels. again, the question being how well do we know them, how do we know which rebels we should be
arming, that's the question for you. >> the wording there is interesting. he's not saying i believe the united states should arm the rebels, he's saying we want to make sure that they obtain rebels with the help of our partners and some would argue, look, the vetting of these rebel groups is being done already by the obama administration. there are reports of a cia presence there at the border already trying to figure out who is who, who is friendly who is not so friendly, who should, you know, benefit from the moral and technical support of the united states if not arms already. there is daylight there in the sense that arming the rebels, those words were pronounced by mitt romney. but the positions are still more or less similar there. >> what about the fact it was last week we had nic robertson talking about how for the first time syria hit turkey, their neighbor to the north. for the first time turkey retaliated and hit back. and, you know, the sort of idea that turkey would be dragged into some sort of war. i imagine that's the last thing they want.
is that correct? >> absolutely. i mean, there is no appetite, if you will, on either side for this to turn into a regional conflict. the assad regime is doing everything it can to try to crush this rebellion. the last thing they need is a war on their borders. but when you have mortar shells falling 150 meets or 150 yards into someone's territory, it can -- this was a few days ago, you haven't had deaths in recent days, but you can easily see a situation where this would spiral out of control. so, you know, arming the rebels coming from mitt romney, i don't know. is this something that is going to happen rebels in a substantial way inside the country? this is still talk. you're still talking about vetting groups. we're months away from identifying groups that will be armed in a sort of -- in a way that can help them fight against the regime that is extremely militaryized. >> what about syria? you have sources in syria and
one line that stood out to me, mitt romney quoting a syrian woman saying we'll never forget that you forget us, but that the u.s. is forgetting syria. what do syrians tell you? >> what syrians say, those who are on the side of the anti-regime movement, and those who support the rebels, is, look, we're dying every single day. this country is bleeding. it is ancient site, they're being destroyed. our children are being killed. the house is on fire, don't throw a glass of water at it is what i'm hearing. then you have others, and even those against the regime who say interestingly, look, arming the rebels at this stage, especially if it is gulf countries like saudi arabia and qatar who are doing it, could present some level of risk. because who are you arming? are these groups who are motivated by, for instance, sectarian sort of -- sectarian motivation? are these groups who have inclinations toward an -- a desire to establish an islamist
state, for instance. who are we arming? i think there is still -- there are questions out there regardless of where you stand in terms of your position. >> it was two very different situations, it sounds eerily similar to a conversation we had at libya, whether or not to arm -- who do we know, who can we trust? >> in libya, the situation was much clearer. you had an eastern opposition that was organized, you were able to identify them, you were able more or less to -- to militarily from the air assist that rebellion against moammar gadhafi. that's not possible in syria. >> hala gorani, we'll keep the conversation going. thanks so much. also coming up, he beat a younger and much more energetic opponent. so what are the people of venezuela saying about six more years of hugo chavez? and what does his presidency mean for oil prices? what does this mean for us in the u.s.? we'll show you next. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 when i'm trading, i'm so into it,
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well, he won. that means six more years for venezuelan president hugo chavez. >> the socialist leader saw a tight race this time around. but he beat out his opponent by well over a million votes. cnn's paula newton is in caracas today where millions are celebrating. >> reporter: this city exploded with celebration. behind me, fireworks lit up the sky. their candidate, president hugo chavez, scored a decisive victory. it was a choice between two very different options in venezuela.
the revolution here, hugo chavez, says is the only way to trickle down those oil profits to the people that need it most, the poor and lower middle class here in venezuela. and his opponent saying, look, hugo chavez is going to bankrupt the country using the oil profits for his own purposes and warning the economy could go off the cliff. some economist s agreeing sayin they could see default in the next few months, but for hugo chavez it was a decisive victory and you can see he was relishing this. he basically took the opposition to task and said how dare you not believe in the greatness of venezuela? brooke, this means a lot for the united states. we get 9% of our gas from venezuela. any kind of destabilization here could affect gas prices and what you and i pay to fill up. brooke? >> paula newton for me in caracas. now with more on how chavez's win really impacts venezuela's relationship with the u.s., let
me bring in our senior latin american affairs editor rafael romo. good to see you. you're functioning on four hours of sleep, staying up, staying at work, watching this election here. look, you talk about u.s., you talk about venezuela, the relationship has been what word do i use, chilly? chilly in the past. you know, hugo chavis has called the u.s. and our allies imperialists. what do we think we see over the next six years for him? >> remember, just a few years ago when president bush was in power he called him the devil. that gives you a piece of very good picture of how hugo chavez feels about the united states. and what is going to happen in the next few years is chavez has said already, he's going to deepen the 21st century kind of socialism that he's been espousing for all these years. what this means for not only the region, but also for the united states is that many of the american companies that have some sort of connection to venezuela may be at risk of
being nationalized by the chavis government. it has happened already. i know another company was taken over by the chavez government. and the reality is that nobody really knows what is going to happen. so that's something that can be expected in the next six years. >> here is why we care and why we're talking about it. gas, oil, right? let me look down. they're the fourth largest exporter of oil to the united states. one of the top oil producing countries in the world but more than 35% of the population lives below the poverty line. as paula mentioned, economists are worried they could go off the cliff here. she mentioned default in a couple of months. listen to what some economists are saying. >> they have already reached point where the current situation can't continue, a continuation of the current policy framework could culminate in a crisis effectively. >> right now, at least, we need the oil when you hear the precarious situation that is their economy, should we be worried? >> i find the situation very
ironic. we, the united states, get about 8% to 9% of the oil from venezuela, a socialist country. venezuela, a socialist country, sells 40% of its oil to the united states and if you add the caribbean to the mix, it is about 75% of the oil, so venezuela cannot afford to sever relations with either the united states or the caribbean because, what are they going to do? are they going to ship owl the oil to china? it is not economically feasible, so that relationship has to go on in spite of what chavez says, in spite of his rants against what he calls the empire of the united states. >> he has in the past, you know, railed against the u.s. as we mentioned. he supported leaders like mahmoud ahmadinejad of iran. is venezuela -- is the international threat here to the u.s., how much of a threat is there with him at the helm? >> well, number one, he has slowly but surely driven latin america to the left, supporting
regimes like, of course, cuba, but also ecuador, nicaragua, argentina, bolivia, given them oil and all kinds of resources, and, yes, he is a friend of people like mahmoud ahmadinejad, now he's there, but he gave a sword, very symbolic sword in venezuela to moammar gadhafi. and he's friends with people like russian leaders, the president of belarus, and that gives you an idea about how in the future this can be a problem, big problem for the united states, because he is friending people who have friends nowhere else in the world, and strategically it is a problem for the united states. >> six more years, we're watching closely, rafael romo, thank you. >> thank you. politicians, how about our kind of politicians, we have seen them all kiss babies, tell jokes, all in an effort to woo
this massive wedding fight in a hotel lobby turned deadly over this past weekend. and, of course, there is video. take a look at this. this was taken by an onlooker and uploaded to youtube. you can hear the sounds, the screams, you see the police. this is philadelphia. they used batons and tasers to get control of this fight involving two separate wedding parties. police say during the fight, a
57-year-old man suffered a heart attack and died after being taken to the hospital. here is one of the brides. geez. officers arrested three people. the cause of the fight, still unknown. as we have been mentioning here looking at the live pictures in keen, california. president obama, here we go. not quite the president yet, we're waiting, expecting to take to the stage here, will he respond, might he respond to mitt romney's accusations that the president is not a strong leader on foreign policy? we're going to listen in and take you to keen, california, coming up.
for the very first time, four years ago, the presidential campaigns took the plunge into the world that we now live in, that being social media. now they have pretty much a president in every facet of the internet, from pinterest to tumbler, spotify to instagram, not to mention huge followings on twitter and facebook. john sutter is here with me.
hello. >> hi. >> you cover science, technology, politics, just back from a pretty interesting trip to hawaii. let's talk about this, i think this is kind of fascinating. we have pictures i think we can hopefully ultimately throw up. basically they're not just updating their status on facebook pages or tweeting, but now seeing ann romney's -- the pumpkin bread recipe on pinterest, for example. why? >> it is really wild. i think the goal of this is to personalize the candidates. if you see ann romney and her, you know, recipe list, it makes her a human. i think that's what the campaigns are going for. they have social media directors, digital directors who are really mining the spaces and trying to create new audiences. >> here is the picture on pinterest. i'm not even pinterest hip yet, are you? >> i use it some. not as much as the others. >> we also have president obama, if we pull it up, he has his music list, his play list on spotify. >> yeah.
>> personalized. >> this is wild. it has been showing up on tech sites and tech blogs. spotify is the streaming music service. he and mitt romney both have a play list that, again, i think it is trying to give them the character or persona. mitt romney has johnny cash on his. obama has arcade fire. all these, like -- i was listening to them this morning and just sort of -- you read so much into it, what do they mean by that lyric? what are they trying to say? >> why are they choosing -- arcade fire. who exactly mentioned they must have a group in charge of social media, which would be a pretty awesome job if you're a youngster out of college, right, and tweeting on behalf of the president or mitt romney. is that who it is? >> yeah. mostly it is not the candidates posting. >> it is not? >> shocker. so there are people employed to do this. i think this came out of the 2008 campaign, you know, president obama had a lot of success reaching out particularly to young voters on text messages and social networks. you mentioned that was more twitter and facebook then and
now spreading into these other networks too like tumbler or spotify. >> how successful, ultimately, as you mention that young voting bloc that is so crucial and helped obama in '08, how much now would this level the social media will actually translate to votes in less than a month? >> i think it matters quite a lot. there is a segment of the population that gets most of their news from the internet and from social networks. might not see the tv ads that get a lot of press. i think it is smarter than to reach into that demographic. if you talk to people on a campaign, almost any level, they assume that the older vote is going to be there, the people who are going to come out to vote, they have been for decades, but young people may be more inclined to sit it out and watch it all happen without participating. they're trying to dive in and get the younger people engaged. >> i was -- i was doing something with the daily beast tv covering the rnc in tampa and i got into this whole discussion with howard kurtz, a couple of folks about how -- who cares if
the president is tweeting and hip with social media. ultimately doesn't it matter, my texts matter, now that he's tweeting about his dog. >> it is all peripheral if you think about it in the big picture. they're trying to create interest and intrigue. you see obama in particular on tumbler putting out a lot of gifts, animated looping clips, or pictures of big bird, like after the debate, or trying to, like, grab -- just grab attention. it is just little attention grabbers. >> if you want to personalize it, check out play list. that's interesting. john sutter, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> come back, come back. >> as we talk about the president, a quick reminder in a couple of minutes, we'll be getting an up close and personal look at the man who wants to be president. i'll be speaking with pbs producer, award winning producer about this documentary, this upcoming doc, which reveals the most decisive moments in barack obama and mitt romney's lives. up your game. up the ante. and if you stumble, you get back up.
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let me take you to keene, california, here he is, the president. there to dedicate the cesar chavez national monument. let's take a listen. >> it drew sfretrength from americans of every race and background who marched and boycotted on behalf of la causia and always inspired by the farm workers themselves, some of whom are with us. this place belongs to you too. but the truth is, we would not be here if it weren't for cesar. growing up as the son of migrant workers who lost their home in the great depression, cesar wasn't easy on his parents. he described himself as capricious. his brother richard had another
word for him. stubborn. by the time he reached seventh grade, cesar estimated he had attended 65 elementary schools, following the crop cycles with his family, working odd jobs, sometimes living in roadside tents without electricity or plumbing. it wasn't an easy childhood, but cesar always was different. while other kids could identify all the hottest cars, he memorized the names of labor leaders and politicians. after serving in the navy during world war ii, cesar returned to the fields. it was a time of great change in america, but too often that change was only framed in terms of war and peace, black and white, young and old. no one seemed to care about the invisible farm workers who picked the nation's food. bent down in the beating sun, living in poverty, cheated by
growers, abandoned in old age. unable to demand even the most basic rights. caesseize cesar cared. in his own peaceful eloquent way, he made other people care too. a march that started in delano with a handful of activists -- [ applause ] that march ended 300 miles away in sacramento with a crowd of 10,000 strong. a boycott of table grapes that began in california eventually drew 17 million supporters across the country, forcing growers to agree to some of the first farm worker contracts in history. >> president obama speaking there, using little spanish as he is helping dedicate the ces r chavez monument, the first in the country to hon they are
contemporary mexican-american and chavez, the founder of united farm workers really began internationally recognized, the voice of the disenfranchised, the poor, and also just think timingwise, here we are less than a month until the election, president knows the latino voting bloc is key and would like to gain any of those voters he possibly can here. this is a practical and symbolic visit to keene, california. republicans, let's talk about the balance of power. republicans obviously want to take control of the white house on november 6th. but they also have their sights set on the senate, where democrats currently hold a majority. 53-47. senior congressional correspondent dana bash joins me from washington here with a look at tight races, these are for two open senate seats, we'll talk one in wisconsin, dana, the other in arizona. but let's begin with wisconsin. democratic senator, retiring, the national republican senatorial committee has now put
out this ad that compares the congressional voting record of the democratic base to nancy pelosi. what is the point? >> it is a tried and true strategy for the republicans to tie any democrat to the democratic leader nancy pelosi. let's start with the republican in the race, tommy thompson. governor of wisconsin for 13 years. really popular back then. republicans were hoping that because of that him as their candidate would make this a relatively easy pickup for republicans. especially since as you mentioned the democratic candidate who is the congresswoman, tammy baldwin, she's relatively liberal and she's from the ultra liberal college town of madison, which isn't necessarily how the entire electorate of wisconsin which tends to be more conservative, that is really one of the main arguments from the republicans against her. listen to this ad. >> can we really trust tammy baldwin? baldwin pledged to protect medicare, then broke her word and voted to endanger it. >> and despite that, an average
of polls in wisconsin show baldwin has a slight lead over thompson and i can tell you republican sources in wisconsin say part of the problem is thompson has been out of the game for a while. he may be well known there, but he's rusty and democrats have had success for linking thompson to special interests. it is a tight race and one that republicans were hoping would be in the pickup column to get the four seats they need, the net four in order to regain control of the senate. >> arizona, we know republican senator jon kyl is retiring. the democratic campaign committee has an ad of attacks. the republican race for his record on issues impacting women. what is happening there? >> really interesting, brooke. this has been a sleeper race. the republican congressman you're talking about, jeff flake, an affable republican, known as a fiscal conservative. he was against the earmarks before, that was cool. democrats have been painting him as too far to the right as -- on social issues for the state of
arizona. remember how worried republican leaders were about todd akin's comments about rape and abortion. this is why. watch this ad. >> jeff flake is hoping we remain silent as he votes to defund planned parenthood, denying us access to reproductive and preventative care. >> and another problem for flake is the democratic opponent he's running against is pretty much the last kind of democrat you want to run against, especially in a politically purple, increasingly hispanic state of arizona. richard car momona. he's a decorated vietnam veteran, a doctor and surgeon general, running as a democrat, under president bush. that allows him to play up the fact he's independent. so this is going to be a tough one for republicans. they didn't expect it to hold on to it if they want to have the net four gain to take control of the senate. >> talking about the key couple of seats there in the senate. we'll keep having this
conversation, the balance of power very, very important in addition to the race for president. dana bash, thank you. >> thanks, brooke. and as we continue on, top of the hour here, i'm brooke baldwin. four weeks, four weeks until the election. and mitt romney pivots with a foreign policy speech. >> it is our responsibility and the responsibility of the president to use america's greatest power to shape history. not to lead from behind, leaving our destiny at the mercy of events. drones and modern instruments of war are important tools in our fight. but they are no substitute for a national security strategy for the middle east. i know the president hopes for a safer, freer and more prosperous middle east, allied with us. i share this hope. but hope is not a strategy. we can't support our friends and defeat our enemies in the middle east when our words are not backed up by deeds. >> mitt romney's foreign policy speech was weighted heavily
toward the turbulent situation throughout the middle east. we'll examine that much more here in just a moment in detail. first, let me give you the big picture. as i mentioned, four weeks from the election here, we are seeing a possible shift in favor of mitt romney. look at the numbers with me. especially in that right hand column. you can see what happened since the debate last wednesday. this is gallup's daily tracking poll, great for spotting spre t. you see a dead heat. that's down. the left hand side, from a five-point advantage for obama. that's five-point advantage, poof, gone. this is, again, the gallup tracking poll. you're asking, what about the state polls? they are the ones certainly that count, especially battleground states, florida, ohio, virginia, and, yes, we are seeing signs of movement toward romney. but do keep in mind that before last wednesday, before the first debate, those three big states were firming up quite nicely for the president. obviously you and i will be watching those states very, very
closely as we inch toward the election. on the debates, look at the calendar. keep this in mind. we have a vice presidential debate this coming thursday, biden versus ryan. then a week from tomorrow, obama versus romney. then, those two, again, two weeks from today, the last debate before the election. on foreign policy as well. so mitt romney, speaking up, today, giving this 20-much speech specifically on foreign policy. foreign policy not one of romney's stronger suits thus far. our latest poll showing him trailing the president by seven points on that item. foreign policy. joining me now from washington is john alterman, director of the middle east program at the center for strategic and international studies. so, john, welcome. and, i don't have to tell you this, you know foreign policy encompasses a big ball of wax. are you surprised at romney's emphasis on the middle east specifically and what does that
emphasis tell you? >> you know, i was. and part of me is, as somebody who spends their life following the middle east, i'm a little flattered. part of me wonders where is china, where is russia, where are the sort of rising states like brazil, turkey, india, that have good relations with the u.s. that can be encouraged to take a more responsible role in the world. i would think a big foreign policy speech would address those kinds of issues. instead what i think romney was trying to do was say, say, look, we're much less safe in the middle east and that's because of this president, we're not leading so much. i spent last week in the middle east, in egypt for the whole week, i didn't feel less safe, honestly. and i didn't hear people saying we want the u.s. to tell us what to do. instead they said we want things from the middle east but don't tell us what to do. how would a president romney deal with that? i don't know more now than i did this morning. >> you were in egypt, let me ask you about that. romney spoke as we mentioned,
focused on the middle east, talked egypt. the u.s. pulled the plug on our ally, hosni mubarak, he's gone. egypt's post mubarak president is a member of the militant muslim brotherhood. here is what mitt romney said about egypt today. >> egypt, i'll use our influence including clear conditions on our aid to urge the new government to represent all egyptians, to build democratic institutions, and to maintain its peace treaty with israel. and we must persuade our friends and allies to play similar stipulations on their aid. >> so he mentions the aid, continued aid we give egypt a lot of money, the second highest recipient of u.s. foreign aid. but he mentioned conditions, talking to egyptians. is that realistic? >> you can pose conditions. the problem is getting people to fulfill the conditions and then pulling the trigger if they don't fill the conditions. if it all fell apart, and i spoke to people in the u.s.
government in egypt, who did worry that egypt could drift in the direction of pakistan, their view is the way to make that happen is to cut the aid, cut the relationship, cut the sort of ties that we have been building with egypt over 30 years, i think one of the things you have to do if you're willing to condition aid is you're willing to potentially go down that road, that's what we did with pakistan. >> what would we be sacrificing if we did that? >> one of the possibilities is that a government in egypt would decide to have a different attitude toward israel. i think more hostile, but not war with israel. i think the border would become less secure. i think it would be harder for the u.s. to put ships through the u.s. canal, harder for the u.s. to fly planes over egypt, all the joint training and operations that we do with the egyptians to get us used to working with us would be much harder. and quite frankly, among the egyptian public, people would say for all these years you supported mubarak, who oppressed
us and now we have a democratic government and you pull the plug, you're not on our side at all. and, you know, the other thing is he talked about getting support from the countries in the gulf, the countries in the gulf are not going to condition the aid to egypt and they don't have the same strong interest we have in a resilient vibrant democratic society. how do you square that? it is all really hard. >> and is his critique too to the president was clear and blistering and that will be the debate to watch two weeks from today, that foreign policy debate in florida between these two men. john alterman, john, thank you so much. >> thanks, brooke. before we look that far ahead, let me remind you, this upcoming thursday, vice president joe biden, congressman paul ryan face off thursday night for the vp debate, coverage here on cnn begins at 7:00 eastern. as president obama and mitt romney race to the finish -- >> i got my start as a community organizer. >> i know how the private sector works. >> -- a new documentary shows not only their most decisive
moments, but how their minds work. i'm brooke baldwin. the news is now. >> he knows that every step he takes is a potential land mine. >> the backlash against his presidency must be mystifying to him, because he genuinely doesn't see himself as a radical. >> i'll speak live with a p benpbs producer behind this film. >> israel shoots down a drone, but the mystery over where it took off deepens. and how the discovery of a single spider derailed an entire highway project. you've been busy for a dead man. after you jumped ship in bangkok, i thought i'd lost you. surfing is my life now. but who's going to ....
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soothes you to sleep with ingredients like melatonin. it's safe with no side effects, so you wake up... ready to go. [ male announcer ] unisom natural nights. space flight officially entered a new era last night when the first commercial flight to refly splosupply the interna space station launched from cape canaveral, florida. i love the pictures. watch this with me. richard branson, the president of virgin group hailed the private sector's role in space flight and has a company called
virgin galactic that will soon offer tours of space for a cool 200 grand a pop. he promises the price will go down eventually. he joins me from new york. nice to have you back on the show. when you watch spacex, what are you thinking? when you watch this rocket go up? >> i think it is time has come that commercial space flight took over from government-run businesses. governments have done a fine job for 60 years, but it has been incredibly expensive and i think the likes of elan and if i may say myself, elan is going to be -- take iing trade into spac next year at a fraction of what it cost governments in the past. so a very, very, very exciting era of space travel ahead of us. and another historic day today. >> so you say next year, are you
still on track, virgin galactic, still on track to launch in 2013? >> i'll be very disappointed with our team if i don't get a flight myself next year. i think it is looking more hopeful than not. so putting pressure on, not too much pressure, because i'm bringing my kids up, but everything points to next year being a year that virgin galactic will start taking passengers to space. >> and to be clear, if people have, i don't know, concerns about safety, this being a first for virgin galactic, you know, you're going up, and as you mentioned, your children are going up in that first flight, correct? >> yes. and, i mean, you know, my wife loves us all, so she's making sure that we do plenty of test flights before we go. and being a private company, we have got to offer people return tickets, not one way tickets. there will be a lot of test flights done before we actually go up and but we have got fantastic technology, 60 years younger than most of the nasa
technology, and we're confident that we can create a wonderful spaceship company that, you know, will start with several flights, go on to ordeal flights, and just give people a chance finally to become astronauts. people who never would have dreamt in their lifetime that they would become astronauts. >> while all this is incredibly exciting and hopefully sparing some seats for journalists, i do want to talk -- i do want to talk politics. we're four weeks fro s out from presidential election and neither candidate is talking much about space, richard. what would you want to hear from either of them when it comes to space travel? >> well, the interesting thing is that as a democratic president, president obama, who has said, you know, let's get private enterprise to run space going forward, because it can be done a lot cheaper, can save the taxpayer a lot of money.
and, you know, obviously i personally think that he's right about that. i think that, you know, if we can get lots of private companies, you know, coming up with imaginative ways of maybe setting hotels in space, looking at point to point travel, which virgin galactic is doing so we can travel around the globe quicker than in the past, that's good. and i think we're going to have a really exciting few decades ahead where space travel will move much quicker than it is done in the past. nasa has done a great job, but i think private space companies will move even quicker. >> i remember when space x was first testing this out in may, we heard from charlie boldon saying, look, this is a great day, a happy day. i talked to him and he said, yes, brooke, we hope we'll see boot friprints on mars in our lifetime. this is your wheel house. let's look beyond space tourism. what else do you think is
possible? >> i do think that in our lifetime we'll start colonizing mars. that's something which all the team at virgin galactic are determined to do. i'm sure the team at spacex is determined to do and maybe get together and do it together. but the -- what seems completely fanciful five years ago, as the technology moves forward, is becoming more and more realistic. so and from us, you know, who is to know? we registered the name interglak take a interglaktic airwaves. >> i'm excited for you and whoever goes up with you. maybe i'll hitch a ride at some point. >> we'll see you up there. >> thank you. >> cheers. switching gears, just in to us at cnn, mexican officials have nabbed a top drug cartel leader. he may be linked to the murder of american david hartley on
arrested. the story here, david hartley, he was shot and killed while he was with his wife, out and about on this lake, falcon lake, riding on their sea-doos, right along the u.s. mexico border. this was just two years ago, 2010. i want to bring in a crime reporter for the monitor newspaper in mccounsel, texas. he joins me by phone here. and how exactly did they catch this guy? >> well, they caught him on saturday, took an all day effort. they had received -- the mexican navy received information around 5:00 a.m. he was in the city of nob nobeulo and theyl lthey also ca him. they were able to arrest him and this morning they presented him for the media, basically, you know, we have this gentleman,
he -- he answered directly, so he's very high up in the chain. >> let me jump in and ask you too, because to be clear, from what i understand, we had fobs who talked to the sheriff of saturday pa zepeda county who said they don't know if this guy was the one that pulled the trigger, but he may be involved, correct? >> that is correct. i spoke with the sheriff this morning. this guy is very high up in the chain, he was more than likely not at the scene, but he was ultimately responsible for the acts of his underlings. he basically oversaw -- everybody answered to him. so as to his role, his exact role, but he was ultimately responsible for everything that this has done in that -- this time frame. >> what more do you know? he was known as the squirrel. what more do you know about him? >> well, they're tying him to
the murder of 72 migrants in august of 2010. >> wow. >> they were found in a warehouse, after a fire fight, and when the army they found all these bodies there. then in april of 2011, there were over 200 bodies found in shallow graves in san fernando, two hours south of the texas border. and that is where they found all these bodies and it seems that this guy also was responsible for having ordered all those murders. >> well, if he was involved, somehow, in this killing, you know, that's -- that's a great sign that mexico is trying to help us out in addition to the bodies you messengere mentioned killing of an american man. thank you for calling in. we appreciate it. 29 days to go until the presidential election. and as folks in some states cast their votes today, mitt romney's big speech slams president obama
as being a follower. not a leader. wolf blitzer joining me next on whether we actually have learned anything new. tonight our guest, thomas sargent. nobel laureate in economics, and one of the most cited economists in the world. professor sargent, can you tell me what cd rates will be in two years? no. if he can't, no one can. that's why ally has a raise your rate cd. ally bank. your money needs an ally.
[ engine revving ] it's bringing the future forward. voting for the general election getting under way in three more states today. you have california, oregon, and indiana. they are now joining ten other states that started early voting. and with all of this here, really, we're less than four weeks from election day. both campaigns are racing to register voters, particularly here in florida. the voter registration deadline there is one day away and volunteers are definitely feeling the urgency. one door, one citizen at a time. they are encouraging people to
vote. some simply have no interest in voting whatsoever. john zarrella reports. >> reporter: justinea and karen go door to door. the question they ask is simple. in florida, the deadline is tuesday. if you're not registered by then, you can't vote in the presidential election. >> sometimes i get sad because people tell me, you know, i don't want to vote, i don't like voting, and it is kind of, like, frustrating sometimes that they do have the right and they can vote, they just don't want to vote. >> reporter: they work for the florida immigrant coalition, one of a plethora of organizations, some partisan, some not, engaged in a last minute swing state signing race to register voters. since the state's august primary, more than 133,000 people have registered. at nova's southeastern university law school in broward county. >> are you registered to vote? >> at florida atlantic university in boca raton --
>> are you registered to vote this year. >> reporter: outside the courthouse in plantation, no mistaking which candidate alan supports, but he says -- >> we register anyone that comes along that wants to register. >> reporter: you would prefer they register democrat. >> of course i work for the obama campaign. >> reporter: jonathan cologne registered. >> i'm looking in the future ten years down the line, whatever they can do to make their four years count is what i really want. >> reporter: with so much at stake in florida, there can be a darker side to voter registration. palm beach county supervisor of elections susan booker discovered discrepancies, signatures that looked the same, addresses that didn't appear right on more than 100 voter registration forms. >> we just haven't ever experienced this kind of issue with the registration forms and so that's got us a little disconcerted. >> reporter: the company at the center of what is a state wide investigation, strategic allied consulting, hired by the republican party to register voters, was fired.
strategic insists the problem was with one individual and that it maintains rigorous quality control measures. back in ft. lauderdale, not a good day for jessina and karen, only a handful of new registers. that hurts, they say. you see, neither one is a u.s. citizen, both are part of the group called dreamers, whose parents brought them here illegally when they were children. and here they are, trying to encourage people to exercise their right they only wish they had. >> have a nice day. >> reporter: john zarrella, cnn, ft. lauderdale. from florida to virginia, four weeks from election day, mitt romney speaking at vmi, slips in a speech on foreign policy. romney spoke today in lexington, virginia, said that under barack obama the united states has failed to lead, especially, he said, in the middle east. he said the obama administration is being reactive, being led around by events, but he offered few specifics on how to do
things differently. now what he did say is the rebels in syria need to be getting more arms, but didn't exactly say from whom. wolf blitzer back with me now from washington. let's begin with something i didn't hear. i didn't hear mitt romney say that president obama is throwing israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu under the bus. he seemed to soften his tone on that one. did you hear that change in nuance? >> that was a line he used in his acceptance speech at the republican convention in tampa that the obama administration has thrown israel under the bus. he didn't soften it as far as benjamin netanyahu's relationship with president obama is concerned. he was pretty tough on the president and suggested at one point in a speech that the relationship between the rez of the united states and the prime minister of israel according to romney suffered great strains. and then he quoted from an old
report going back to first year of the obama administration, from an unknown source, if you will, in an early meeting that the president had with jewish leaders, at the white house back in 2009, that the president wanted to spwant ed to put some daylight between the u.s. and israel. he didn't mention israel was thrown under the bus, but he didn't back off at all in his insistence that the u.s./israeli relationship, specifically relationship between the president and the prime minister, was under strain. i will point out this, he's right on that, the relationship between netanyahu and president obama is under strain. but the u.s./israeli military to military relationship, intelligence to intelligence relationship, at least according to ehud barak and shimon peres, i interviewed both of them in july, they insist the relationship has never been better. the personal relationship between these two leaders, though, is not good.
>> that is what romney has pointed out. up until now, and perhaps largely because of the operation that killed osama bin laden, it has been advantage obama when it comes to foreign policy. in fact, i know you've seen this poll this is a recent poll that shows more americans trusting obama over romney on foreign policy. do you think, though, that maybe, maybe team romney senses an opportunity, an opening here? >> yes, they definitely sense an opening as a result of what happened in benghazi, libya. i think the president has been popular as far as foreign policy is concerned as he got all the u.s. troops out of iraq, no more u.s. troops in iraq. americans are war weary, if you will, he's got a timeline to getting all u.s. troops out of afghanistan. but probably much more important than that, brooke, is that he managed to kill bin laden. that is something very, very popular. so i was a little surprised that romney went after the president in this speech today on iraq, because getting u.s. troops out
of iraq has generally been popular, though romney did make valid points. the iraqi government, nuri al maliki is moving closer and closer to iran, it's facilitating iranian supplies of weapons to syria. this is not a good aftermath of all the years of struggle in iraq for sure. getting americans out of iraq that was basically very, very popular. >> wolf blitz, i know you'll be dissecting this speech even further at the top of the hour. we'll look forward to it in the situation room. thank you. >> thank you. >> and are you thinking about selling some of your old items? well, you may want to do it fast. we have details on a case being heard before the supreme court this week, which could make it illegal for you to sell your stuff. it's hard to see opportunity in today's challenging environment. unless you have the right perspective. bny mellon wealth management has the vision and experience to look beyond the obvious. we'll uncover opportunities, find hidden risk,
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made abroad? listen to this, your right to sell your old stuff is now the case before the u.s. supreme court. yep, the supreme court is considering this little known case, it is called curtsong. how could this impact you? this is a short list put together. you would be breaking the law if you sold your first generation ipad on craigslist, you sold your dad's used omega watch on ebay, if you sold an important cd only released abroad but legally purchased here. here is one you to pay very close attention it. if you sold your house with all the fixtures inside, that remain in china or france or canada, maybe a little italian marble in there, you would be breaking the law. sunny hostin on the case with us. it seems nuts. it stems from these legal disputes over something called the first failed doctrine.
what is being disputed? >> that's right. it is a little difficult to explain and it is going to be difficult because of the supremes feel they need to weigh in and this is a really meaty, legal issue. it makes sense to go over sort of the beginning of this case. and the way it started, brooke, is mr. curtsong in 1997 moved from thailand to attend cornell university. what happened when he got to cornell, he faced a reality that so many of us that went to college or universities around the country face, the insane cost of textbooks, right? so he realizes and discovers that these same textbooks are sold in thailand for just a fraction of the cost. they're really inexpensive. so he gets his family and friends to buy those textbooks in thailand and guess what ship them to him in new york, into cornell university, he sells them on ebay and makes, get this, brooke, $1.2 million in profit. >> what? >> that's right. and the publisher, wily and sons, finds out about it and
they say, you can't do that. that's our money. we have a copy right here. and they sue him for copy right infringement. he said under the first sale doctrine in the united states, copy right law, well, you only have control over the first sale this is the second sale. i can set the price that i want to set. well, now the supreme court has to deal with it and that's why it has such significant legal implications because think about it, it would almost make ebay illegal, it would make yard sales like black market, right? craigslist, no more. and so that's why people are really talking about this because it could have real worldwide or united states wide implications. and, get this, brooke, libraries, my goodness, i mean, they loan out foreign manufactured books each and every second, each and every day. libraries could also very much so be affected by this.
>> this is huge. sunny hostin, we'll watch it along with you. thank you very much. now this -- >> romney has been accused of flip-flopping. on mormonism, he will never flip-flop. >> on politics he often tried to keep that part of him behind the curtain. >> the backlash against his presidency must be mystifying to him because he genuinely doesn't see himself as a radical. >> what a film this is. this is inside the thinking of these two men who want to be president for the next four years. coming up next, an award winning pbs producer joins me live on the documentary that reveals the most decisive moments in mitt romney and barack obama's lives. ♪ ♪ we're lucky,
it's not every day you find a companion as loyal as a subaru. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. i"i'm not in favor of a a$5 trillion tax cut. that's not my plan." mitchell: "the nonpartisan tax policy center concluded that mitt romney's tax plan would cost $4.8 trillion over 10 years." vo: why won't romney level with us about his tax plan, which gives the wealthy huge new tax breaks? because according to experts, he'd have to raise taxes on the middle class - or increase the deficit to pay for it. if we can't trust him here... how could we ever trust him here?
themselves for us while, of course, vilifying the other. that's why when i draw your attention to this documentary, that airs tomorrow night, on pbs, it is from the folks who bring us front line. here is just a preview. >> i got my start as a community organizer. >> i know how the private sector works. i know how jobs come. i know how they go. >> for years, these two men have been telling us their stories. >> he keeps a lot of his views to himself. >> he knows that every step he takes is a potential land mine. >> people havereat respect for obama and will still say this is most insular administration in their lifetime. >> this october, front line looks for meaning in the lives, choices and politics of barack obama and mitt romney. >> michael kirk is one of the producers of the choice 2012. he's joining me live from new york. and welcome to you, michael. i read your resume. you covered just about everything. i'm fascinated to see this, as you tout this long view of these
men's lives. and the promise is that this documentary will take us beyond the sound bites, beyond the ads, the sales pitches. tell me, it sounds like you and your crew talked to a lot of people to get inside the lives of both of these men. >> more than 100 of them, friends, family, enemies, journalists, authors, almost everybody we could dredge up over the last year for two hours, 2 a1/2 hours. i think the challenge was formidable. who do you tell the life story and new things about maybe the most famous person in the world, barack obama, or in romney's sense, a man everybody told us was the hidden man, that's the way they described him. and it was a real treat to finally get inside and finally discover what i think we have discovered and what we put on our film tomorrow night. >> and to help americans, of course, make that choice, right, come november 6th. let's begin with the hidden man, with mitt romney. let me play a little bit. this is part of an interview
with his wife, ann. >> he loves his dad, respects his dad. doesn't want to do anything that would not make his father proud. >> now, romney's dad was a powerful auto executive, a moderate republican governor, did his father, the role of his father really cast a big shadow over mitt romney's early years now, and if so, how so? >> it is a tremendous burden and promise at the same time. mitt romney grew up in a wonderful family, many generations of mormons where the ethos is parenting is the most important thing you do. george romney was an unbelievable role model, successful auto executive, and a great community person. and a politician who was very successful as a governor. he fought barry goldwater at the 1964 republican convention, and mitt had a very strong relationship with him, stronger
than almost any of his other siblings, it is really interesting to imagine what mitt romney must think about now and we talked to ann in our film, and we talked to many of the people around him, and they all said mitt, as a mormon, would believe he'll see his father on the other side of what they call the veil, and that he knows the father will look at him and say, you know, mitt, you did a good job. >> wow. so this is part of what he believes, again, speaking about his mormonism. here is a little more from your documentary. >> mitt romney has been accused of flip-flopping. but on mormonism he will never flip-flop. >> and yet in politics, he has often tried to keep that part of him behind the curtain. >> the backlash -- >> we know romney spent two years in france. somebody wrote it up the sissyfian task of not drinking, in all places of bordeaux. very close brush with death as
well. how did those years, how did that really shape him into who he is today? >> i think he was not a serious person when he went. he had been at stanford, supported his father's pro war, pro vietnam war stance by protesting the protesters. but that was about as close as he came to politics. i think by the time he gets to france and has that near brush with death, he then -- something happens to him, he becomes much more serious, and something else happens to him that has stayed with him, we saw it all last wednesday night in the debate, he has so much rejection at the heart of the experience of the missionary endeavor as knocking on thousands of doors asking people to be mormons, the last thing many people in france wanted was to see a couple of mormon missionaries there, he learned, i think, to be a salesman and to handle rejection. he's had some rejection in his life, he's been a salesman all of his life since france. >> what is the one word, michael, you would use to sum up everything you learned about
mitt romney's character? one word. >> one word, not ideological. >> that's two words, but we'll allow it. you're a journalist. >> ideologicalically -- not ideological, that's it. >> i want to ask about a story you heard about president obama's younger years, i want to focus on that, and including his focus on that, and including his quote, his role headache. trust me, this is new bayer migraine. [ male announcer ] it's the power of aspirin plus more in a triple action formula to relieve your tough migraines. new bayer migraine formula. in a triple action formula to relieve your tough migraines. thank you, mr. speaker, uh, members of congress. in celebration of over 75 years of our government employees insurance company,
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i am back with award-winning producer michael kirk. he and his team have just finished the documentary that delves deeply into the lives of barack obama and mitt romney. so before you vote -- this whole documentary is called "the choice 2012." this is two hours of tv you want to watch if you are undecided or not. before the break, we talked about a young mitt romney. what about the president's early years? early on, president obama went by the name barry. so he was barry obama. and in high school he took part in something called the chume gang in hawaii. what was that? >> well, chum in hawaii means marijuana. and his friends, he'd had
just -- by my terms, really a horrible childhood and by his. even the memoir doesn't go as deeply as we went to discover really what it was like, a lifetime of being left and being alone, searching for home, searching for familiar. it really is a sad story, quite the opposite of mitt romney's story. well, obama, by the time he gets to high school, is in a very nice, the best high school in hawaii. but there he has a group of friends that really become his family. he didn't really have anything like it before that. and they were known as the chum gang because they consumed a lot of marijuana. >> okay, okay. you also found a lot of letters, journals written by a young obama. tell me about them. >> he goes through a sort of existential crisis through his 20s where he comes to -- goes first to occidental college in
los angeles and then comes to new york where he walks the streets basically on and off for four years in a kind of monk-like existence carrying "the invisible man" in his back pocket trying to figure out who he is, is he black, is he white, is he an orphan? what kind of person is he looking for a community to be in. he comes up with an answer that will propel him to the white house. moves on to chicago and then harvard law school. but during that time, he forms a kind of theory, which is his big idea, what we call the national intention that he sold to all of us, starting with that speech in boston. it's a fascinating idea that this guy in the depths of despair, a real existential crisis, sorts it out and comes up with something that makes him the president of the united states. >> michael, what's the one or two words to sum up barack obama's character? >> i think he's disappointed. >> disappointed? okay. >> watch the show. you'll see why. >> we'll watch the show.
remind us exactly when tomorrow. >> 9:00, pbs. it's in spanish and in english for everybody in america to see. and i hope you do. it may help if you're having trouble deciding who to vote for or you just want to feel good about who it is you are voting for. >> michael kirk, we'll be watching. thank you, sir. we'll be right back.
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